National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2023 Review

The National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) 2023 (11th Edition) is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. On December 19, 2023, a Final Rule adopting the National MUTCD 2023 was published in the Federal Register with an effective date of January 18, 2024. States must adopt the National MUTCD as their legal State standard for traffic control devices within two years from the effective date. Caltrans will need to revise the current CA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD) 2014 Revision 8 to bring it into substantial conformance with FHWA's National MUTCD 2023 on or before January 18, 2026.

Caltrans began the process to review the National MUTCD 2023 for adoption in California by soliciting CA MUTCD practitioners statewide to form 10 Subject Matter Expert (SME) Workgroups based on the individual Parts of the MUTCD. The SME Workgroup's reviews are being conducted in weekly/bi-weekly meetings, which began earlier this year in February. These SME Workgroup reviews compare the new National MUTCD 2023 (11th Edition) with California revised contents of the National MUTCD 2009 (10th Edition) in the current CA MUTCD 2014 Revision 8 and focus on assessing potential impacts of adopting the new MUTCD changes in California. SME Workgroups provide comments and recommendations to Caltrans on developing the revised CA MUTCD 2026 draft contents.

Caltrans is preparing initial draft documents on the MUTCD parts. Each individual part will be shared with the traffic control device practitioners in California and made open to the public for review and to provide comment. Each part will be posted based on when it is completed, and the public comment period and date for closing of comments will vary. All comments received will be discussed with the respective SME Workgroup members for resolution and response, as appropriate, and will be used to prepare the final draft. The final draft will then be prepared as an agenda item for the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) meeting (public hearing) and made open to the public for review and comment, using CTCDC established process and in compliance with California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21400 provisions. The final draft will be revised based on CTCDC recommendations and submitted to FHWA CA Division office for review and determination of substantial conformance finding in compliance with 23 CFR 655.603(b). Finalized CA MUTCD 2026 version will be issued after receiving FHWA's determination on finding the final draft documents to be in substantial conformance with National MUTCD and incorporating FHWA's comments, if any, to ensure compliance. Refer to the CA MUTCD 2026 Draft Timeline document for more details on the overall process, including public reviews, CTCDC and FHWA CA Division engagement, schedule and finalization of the CA MUTCD 2026 draft.

These draft documents combine the National MUTCD 2023 and the current CA MUTCD 2014 Revision 8 (effective January 11, 2024) to form the CA MUTCD 2026 draft version. Though every effort has been made by Caltrans to ensure accuracy of this document, the inherent variances between the National MUTCD and the California MUTCD, along with moving of contents and reorganization undertaken by FHWA in the National MUTCD 2023, there may be unintentional errors or omissions in this document, or some contents may have been overlooked.

 

 

These draft documents use the current California MUTCD format, which is similar to the National MUTCD format. It incorporates the National MUTCD in its entirety and explicitly shows which portions thereof are applicable or not applicable in California as follows:
  Unedited black text - The unedited National MUTCD text is shown in "Times New Roman" font and black color.
  Strikethrough black text - Text portions of the National MUTCD content that are not applicable in California are showing with a strikethrough of the black text and a blue margin line on the right side.
  Blue text - The California text additions, including new paragraphs, and enhancements are incorporated into the combined document at appropriate locations and show in "Arial Narrow" font and blue font color with a blue margin line on the right side.
  California topics with no corresponding National MUTCD section - Sections are given a number that begins with number 101 and increases in sequence, followed with a "(CA)" to indicate that this is a California created section.

CA MUTCD 2026 - Initial Draft Documents
(open to public for review and comments; all files are PDFs)
Part Title Date Posted Date Closed*
(for comments)
Mark-Up Files (for comparison)
Unedited black text** Strikethrough black text and blue text***
5 Traffic Control Device Considerations for Automated Vehicles 6/10/2024 Date Extended to
08/16/2024
   
  5A - General (Text) No comparison documents are available for Part 5 for the National MUTCD or CA MUTCD versions, as Part 5 is completely new material in the National MUTCD. Relevant provisions from the previous version of Part 5, Low Volume Roads, have been moved to other Parts of the National MUTCD and CA MUTCD comparison documents, as appropriate.
  5A - General (Table)
  5B - Provisions for Traffic Control Devices
7 Traffic Control for School Areas 6/13/2024    
  7A - General (Text) NMUTCD - 7A CA MUTCD - 7A
  7B - Signs (Text) NMUTCD - 7B CA MUTCD - 7B
  7C - Markings (Text) NMUTCD - 7C CA MUTCD - 7C
  7D - Crossing Supervision (Text) NMUTCD - 7D CA MUTCD - 7D

Note: All individual parts will be continually posted as they become ready and available for web posting.

*If more time is needed for review, please submit a comment and an extension of the review period may be considered.
**Compare documents (in this column) include identification of changes to Unedited black text provided by FHWA comparing National MUTCD 2009 and 2023 editions.
***Compare documents (in this column) include identification of changes to both, Strikethrough black text and blue text contents of CA MUTCD provided by Caltrans using current CA MUTCD 2014 Revision 8.

Submitting Comments on the Draft CA MUTCD 2026

Please submit your Comments on Draft CA MUTCD 2026 on the initial draft of the CA MUTCD 2026. Note that comments over the phone (verbal) will not be accepted due to the difficulty in their documentation. Comments may be submitted either electronically or mailed per information below.

Email: camutcd@dot.ca.gov

Mailing Address:

  Attention: Johnny Bhullar
Editor, CA MUTCD, MS-36
  Office of Safety Systems & Devices
  Caltrans, Division of Safety Programs
P.O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

NMUTCD 2023 Review & Adoption

CA MUTCD 2026 Draft Timeline (PDF)

CA MUTCD 2026 SME Workgroup Leads (PDF)


Initial Draft Parts CA MUTCD 2026
(all documents will be in PDF format)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5A (Text) | 5A (Table) | 5B (Text)

Part 6

Part 7A (Text) | 7B (Text) | 7C Text) | 7D (Text)

Part 8

Part 9


Submit your Comments on CA MUTCD 2026

Online | (Word) | (PDF)

For questions, email CA MUTCD